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PLEASE NOTE: Beginning with entries created after JAN 1, 2011, the majority of this journal is now "FRIENDS ONLY" and can only be viewed by mutually friended Live Journal users logged in to their own LiveJournal account.

My daily TWEETS from TWITTER, Writer's Block entries, and a few general updates will still remain public.

If you would like to READ MY FRIENDS ONLY POSTS, all you have to do is create a LiveJournal account, add me as a friend to your account, and then submit a Friend Request in writing via the email address below.

Email me at: ursasolus@hotmail.com Please take a moment to introduce yourself, and briefly explain why you would like to have access to my friend's only entries. Don't forget to include the username that I will need to look for in my "also friend of" list..

I'm not terribly secretive about my writing, I just like to know who is reading my Journal Entries, and the musings of my mind.

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My tweets


Q: What drives his sex drive?
A: A Husband's Emotional need.

I used to think that for my husband, sex was physical. All he really wanted from it was an orgasm—and all he wanted me for was sex. Because I thought his sex drive was all orgasm-focused, I didn’t understand why he made such a big deal out of it if I didn’t want to have sex. I figured he could just go take care of it himself.

What I wanted most was for him to value me for me, not just for sex.

My Husband’s Need for Emotional Connection

Over the past few years, I have come to realize that for my husband, sex is the primary means of emotionally connecting with me.

I always knew that I was able to get my emotional needs met through a variety of sources. The kids, my friends, and colleagues connected with me in various ways. Because I emotionally connect primarily through conversation and hugs, I experienced emotional connection a lot in my daily life—just not with my husband.
I could talk with people, share my feelings, and know that my observations and feelings mattered to others. Even when my husband didn’t seem to appreciate me, someone else was bound to. (I recognize now that this was unwise on my part. Fortunately, the people I connected with were other women. Had I worked with more male colleagues, I could have been setting myself up for disaster.)

Big Guy, on the other hand, is a man. He grew up not sharing his feelings with others. He enjoyed male bonding and doing things with his guy friends and male relatives, but it didn’t involve emotional connection. Whether it was how he was made or how he grew up, my husband’s connections and interactions with others simply are not emotional ones.

Even with our kids, my husband was always aware of his role as father, provider, and leader. It is what made him a good dad — but it didn’t exactly give him the emotional connection that filled him and helped him feel fully known and accepted.

That left only one pathway to emotional connection open to him — the one he had with me. And his primary means of experiencing that emotional connection was through sex.

Who Does He Have to Love Him?

Several months before I began to work on the sexual intimacy in our marriage, I looked at my husband sitting in his chair and thought how lonely he looked. It brought to mind a recent comment he’d made about feeling unloved.

I stood there and looked at him, thinking about how I, too, felt unloved. But then one of the kids walked by and hugged me. It occurred to me that even though my husband didn’t always seem to love me, at least I had others in my life who did.

I looked back at my husband and wondered, Who does he have to love him?

The wind was knocked out of my sails. I stood in shock. God was speaking to me in that moment, I’m sure, because the next thought I had was, Oh . . . he is supposed to have me. I haven’t done a very good job, though.

My mind flooded with memories of all the times he had told me that what he really wanted with sex was intimacy. How did I not realize that he was referring to emotional connection? I didn’t yet recognize how much I had hurt him in my ongoing sexual rejection, and I don’t think I even realized that sex really had anything to do with my husband feeling unloved.

At that moment, looking at my husband feeling so unloved, what I did know was this: I had not been a good wife to him.

My heart began to soften toward Big Guy, preparing me for the moment a few months later when I recognized the hard truth that I had deeply hurt him.

What Drives His Sex Drive?

Today I want to encourage you to head on over to The Generous Husband and read Paul’s recent post, 'Maybe It’s Not Just Between Your Legs.'

Although it is written for husbands, it is a post that gives wives something to consider as well.

Paul suggests that husbands acknowledge that they have a deep emotional need that is filled through sex with their wives.

    One interesting idea offered in something I read is that sex is actually more emotional for men than for women. The theory is sex is one of a men’s few ways of making emotional connection while women are able to feel emotionally connected in many more ways. This could mean some of our “I need it now feeling” is about an emptiness in our hearts rather than just a fullness in our pants.

    Perhaps we tell ourselves we need it for our bodies because we don’t want to admit our emotional neediness. We see an erection demanding attention as manly while emotional need is seen as weak.

    The ironic thing in all this is most women would be far more about sex for emotional connection than sex just to drain a buildup of fluid. “I need to make love to feel close to you” is a better turn-on for her than “It’s been days and I hurt physically.”

    Has our desire to look like tough men made it difficult for our wives to give us the sex we both want and need? What would happen if we admitted we have a deep emotional need for sexual intimacy?

When I read this passage, my mind flooded with the memory of finally seeing my husband’s emotional need and realizing that I had failed as a wife.

Just think about that passage for a moment: most of that drive your husband has to be sexually intimate with you is about filling his heart, not just about dealing with an erection. Emotional need, not just physiology, drives his sex drive.

What does this tell you about your husband’s heart? And what does it do to him emotionally if you consistently reject his attempts to sexually connect with you?

Your husband has a genuine physiological need for sex, but he also has a genuine emotional need for you.

When your husband reaches out for you for sex, he is reaching out for . . . you.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5 LONG Years - and still waiting.

5 Years ago, today, Karen made a promise to be my fantasy barberette; by giving me an erotic haircut, and then shave my head bald. The deal was also that we would have weekly encounters, where she would keep me shaved smooth for the rest of that Summer. (3 whole months)



It is now 1,825 Days later, and I'm still waiting for the love of my life to decide when she will finally fulfill her promise.

The difference now, is that I have 5 years worth of hair grown out on my head.
In 2012, I only had two months worth of hair grown out from having gotten a high-n-tight crew cut. Now, I have over two feet of hair, that I wear in a ponytail most of the time.

The stakes on both sides are quite a bit higher now. I have a lot of hair to lose. Hair that is a huge part of me and my identity. She really needs to quit smoking again, meaning this would be the last time for her to fulfill this particular barberette fantasy. So, I want the first haircut/shave to be something equally unique and special; and not just a quick home haircut.

Karen, PLEASE Read..... (At least as far back as Fall of 2015)


A concept that goes both ways

This Is What Happens When You Love Him Anyways
MAY 15, 2017

Sometimes in marriage, we get to a point where we stop giving. We stop loving.

We hold back and wait for our spouse to earn it. We wait until they give it first. We wait until love is proved.

We say that we love them, or maybe we have been holding that back too, but either way our actions reflect a withholding of love. This is not loving at all. If we truly love our husbands, we will give generously, without expectation, with or without reciprocation.

We give because Jesus gave for us when we didn’t do anything to earn it or deserve it. He just loved. Let us be willing to love like Jesus loves…always willing to give more.

I know that for some wives, especially right now, this is a hard thing to confront. You have been avoiding this in your heart because he sinned and it hurt you. You may have wrestled with questions like,

If he loved me, why would he ever do that?”

I have wrestled with that before too. It causes a deep pain in the tissue of your heart. The consequences of sin can feel like friction causing a raw blister on the inside of your heart that you can seem to reach to heal.

If you have been hurt, you may feel your heart play tug of war with this confrontation. You may hear in your mind, “But he…”

Here is the thing. If you excuse yourself out of doing your part of loving and giving, that blister will become calloused and soon your heart will be hard. But I encourage you to be brave. Let God into those deep places of your heart and let Him heal you. Pray and ask God to heal you and to reconcile your marriage.

People are not perfect and marriage can be messy. Please don’t let fear or pride keep you from experiencing the power of love, even if that means your experience is on the giving end. When we love, God is glorified, because He is love!


My tweets

  • Fri, 13:19: I think I've got mood poisoning. It must have been from something that I hate...
  • Fri, 19:12: One thing that I DEFINITELY won't miss, when I leave Summer Camp tomorrow: All the pesky ticks that keep trying to crawl up my legs & arms.
  • Fri, 23:50: Last time laying my head down to sleep at Summer camp 2017. I've had an awesome time, and I hope the scouts have to… https://t.co/vN0IZY2frV
  • Sat, 00:05: The smell of a dozen campfires burning low, the songs & laughter of the scouts slowly giving way to the songs of fr… https://t.co/F8d0NkPTmV


My tweets

  • Thu, 23:08: Starting to feel like I'm in a Stephen King book. 3rd night, & 3rd sighting of a copperhead in camp; except this time a Scout was bitten. 😥🙏
  • Thu, 23:15: 1st came the crazy racoon (every night), then 3 nights finding copperhead snakes. I draw the line at giant spiders… https://t.co/YA5ZO6fev2


My tweets

  • Wed, 23:23: Getting paranoid about the wildlife here at S-F. We caught another copperhead, & the racoon from last night just tried to bunk with me. 😮
  • Thu, 00:24: This dang racoon is convinced that there is something in my tent that it wants. It has been by here 3 times, so far, tonight.


365 Days Non-Blonde

Today marks exactly one year since I colored Karen's long sexy hair Intense Dark Red, and sadly had to say goodbye to her GORGEOUS platinum blonde locks.

Karen had a bad itch to do something different with her hair, and the blonde that she had at the time was too pale against her skin tones.

She started talking about dying it dark & cutting all of her beautiful long hair off short; so when she offered just dying it red as an alternative to chopping it all off, I jumped at the option that was the least destructive to her long sexy silky tresses.

I LOVE the red hair on her (especially the bolder, intense dark red), but I miss the blonde even more. Strange, for someone who up untill just two years ago had absolutely no attraction to blondes.

I miss our trips to the salon, to have her roots touched up. Spending time together, and seeing her hair covered in the bleach and blonde toner. The tin foil folded and fastened in her hair for highlights.

Yeah, it cost quite a bit to maintain the upkeep;... but as GORGEOUS and BEAUTIFUL as those long, soft, golden locks look surrounding her face and gorgeous head... It's worth every penny that it cost me to take her to the salon every 6 weeks or so.

I'd do anything to have Karen go blonde again.

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Plus,... I still REALLY want her to be my sexy blonde barberette, when she finally gets around to cutting off my long hair, and shaving my head bald. (I honestly don't know what she's waiting for)

I'm ready and willing whenever she is.

002 New Do_Chop 01(blu)
003 New Do_Chop 02 (blu)

My tweets

  • Tue, 22:14: I'm CLEAN! I finally had a chance to take my 1st hot shower since Sunday morning. Down side? = now the bugs can sen… https://t.co/LtbIq3Ikl4
  • Tue, 23:09: Had an unwanted visitor decide to pass through our camp site this evening. We kindly asked him to leave, and had hi… https://t.co/rLrjL6THk7
  • Tue, 23:15: Starting to feel like I'm in an animal comedy skit at camp tonight. Just had a big, fat, racoon walk down the middle of my tent. 😮


My tweets

  • Sun, 18:58: Jack & I go off to camp quite often; but this time Dini is headed off to Summer Camp. I think it was harder for Karen than it was for her… https://t.co/ISgBoxvqrC

Mr Fixit does it again.

I'm not one to really toot my own horn all that often, but I feel like I'm really on a roll of getting things on my self imposed "honey-do" list accomplished lately.

I'm not certain what has sparked the recent motivation to get things done, but it does feel good. I'm not fishing for thanks or acknowledgement for getting things done around my own home (although that is much appreciated). It just feels self rewarding to know that I am gradually checking things off of my own to-do list, and being successful in being able to do them well.

  • Mowed Lawn: I always get a sense of pride and accomplishment from being able to mow and care for my own lawn. My lawn is by no means the best looking lawn on my street. It's not perfectly manicured, or even weed free. There are even probably three or four different types of grass that make up my front and back yards. But I keep my yards mowed, and looking presentable.

  • Clean Basement: (Man Cave) When it comes to the dogs, I am pretty much "nose blind" to the way that they, and the area they spend much of their time within, smells. I need to do a much better job of keeping this area of the house vacuumed and cleaned up (mostly the dog hair, and the dirt they drag in and get on their pet beds). Even though I could not smell the dogs, Karen complains about being able to smell them anytime the basement door is opened. That's not good.

    Before we left for NYC, I spent over 4 hours cleaning and scrubbing their area of the basement. I even had to throw away a pet bed, and several of their lounging pillows. I think I vacuumed up enough fur from behind their cages to create another dog entirely.

    Much like maintaining the yard, this is an area that I need to maintain weekly as well; and I am committed to doing so.

  • New Laundry Bar: As a previous entry mentions, I finally got around to putting up a longer laundry bar. I even spent some of the time cleaning up from my process to clean up the main area of the laundry room floor. Something that has needed done for some time now. There is a lot more to do in that room, but I've made the first dent, and gained a foothold.

  • HHR Key Fob: I finally found a set of instructions to program a new key fob for the HHR. Karen has had to endure not being able to lock/unlock or use the remote start feature of our 2007 HHR for almost the past two years. We had purchased a new key fob for the car last Spring, but the packaging was damaged and the instructions on how to complete the programming was cut off. The process ended up being much simpler than I had originally believed, and I feel bad for not having completed this task LONG ago.

    Just last month, I was able to successfully repair the turn signal switch on the HHR. These two items have been a real boost to my sense of ability to accomplish what I set my mind to do; and it really makes me feel good that I was able to do them for my wife (since the HHR is primarily her car).

  • Basement Door Handle/Lock: The last time I had to replace the handle to the basement sliding glass door, I made the mistake of getting in a hurry; and as a result, I stripped out the fastening bolts as I was installing the inside handle. The locking mechanism was secure, but it left eh inside handle very loose. The strain put on it eventually caused the bottom bolt head to snap off.

    For a while, it was easy enough to just apply pressure to the top of the door handle when opening. But, eventually, the locking lever started falling out of the mechanism, and made opening the door a real pain and chore. Since this is the door that the dogs go in and out of all day long, this presented a real problem.

    Well, I'm proud to say that I replaced the entire handle and locking mechanism this afternoon, and the door is not only easier to use, it is once again completely secure. Eventually, I want to replace the entire door. Due to an accident last Fall, this door is no longer fully insulated and cold "weather proofed." It's also at least 20 years or so old.


    When communication feels toxic and hurtful

    They say that communication is the key to any successful relationship.

    But, what do you do when that communication feels hurtful, and always seems to have a stabbing point at the end of every sentence?

    Karen often get frustrated with me, because I am hesitant to simply speak my mind with her. "Use your words," she will tell me; time and time again. But using my words only opens the door to verbal lashing. In order to use my words, and say the things I want to say, or express the things I feel, means letting down my shield. So often, when I do, the words that come back are poisoned darts, aimed right for the most vulnerable areas of who I am.

    The other thing that Karen often pushes back on me with, is "give me examples of...." That has been a difficult task for me. Not because there are no examples to present, but because one of the coping mechanisms that I have surrounded myself with over the past 8 years is the task of intentionally blocking out the hurtful examples she wants me to recall for her. It's a coping mechanism carried over from my childhood, and has been a crucial part of my psyche for far too long to just reprogram at this stage of life.

    So often, I am able to forget and forgive, because I am so accomplished at forcing myself to forget.
    If I kept a tally of every time my feelings felt hurt by something Karen said or did (actual or perceived), I would never survive our marriage.

    So, instead of trying to specifically hang on to specific incidents to present in a "court of argument," I have been categorizing our conversations in order to better understand why it is that I leave so many conversations feeling hurt and discouraged.

    I have come to the following realization.

    When my feelings are hurt, it feels as if 75% (or more) of Karen's comments/statements in those conversations (with me) fall into one of the three following categories:

  • Telling me about things I have done wrong, or how stupid/inferior I am.

    If the person, whose opinion I care most about, has no confidence in me... If the woman I love more than life itself doesn't respect me, or believe that I am able to be successful... Why should I believe in myself, or think I can be successful?

    The fear of doing something wrong, or saying something wrong, is all the motivation I need to just do nothing at all.

  • Criticizing the details about - what I have done, what I am about to do, what I am doing.

    Specifically that it is not what she wants/wanted done, or is not the way she would do it. The tone and attitude that is used in these comments are those that an angry mother uses when berating and chastising a young child for something like spilling their kool-aid on the carpet, pooping their diaper, or failing to learn a basic task.

    I'm not a child. I don't need a mother. I need a partner that treats me as a partner and an equal. Treat me like a child, I'll react like a child. I'll just go off and hide anytime I think that there's a chance that I'll be criticized for the way I'm doing whatever it is I'm doing, or simply just not do anything at all. Sure, I'll get yelled at for not doing anything, but that's better than getting made to feel like an idiot for "doing it wrong."

  • Finding subtle ways to inform me that - what I have done, or am about to do, or what I have asked of her, is an inconvenience to her.

    Of the three types of comments that I receive on a consistent basis, the most common is this. I am constantly reminded that every interaction with my wife is "costing" her something. It is in some way either an inconvenience to her, or is being charged against me for later payback. Nothing is free. Nothing is given to me out of love, or a simple desire to just contribute to our happiness together. There is a calculated emotional or physical cost, that I am being charged against her time and devotion to our relationship.

    Of everything that I stress about in my relationship, and what ends up hurting my heart most, it is this. I know that every time that I ask Karen to do something, thee will be an expectation to "pay it back." Or, at the very least, a statement made to let me know that I (and what I am communicating/asking) is an inconvenience to her.

    Nothing I have ever experienced in my life has ever made me feel as lonely or worthless as this.

    So, when I am asked for specific examples, I can't give them; because if I tried to remember and retain these things in my head, I would be crushed and unable to go on with the day to day life I live. I am able to come in the door with a smile, and give my love with free will, because I choose to push these things out of my head and block them from my mind.

    I love Karen more than I have ever loved anyone in my entire life. Even when my heart tells me that it doesn't want to any more, I still don't know how to stop loving her. I don't always know why I love her so much, but it's the only true FACT of my life (other than the salvation of Jesus Christ) that I do know. And, it's something I don't ever want to change.

    Maybe, some day, I'll find a way to change something about myself so that Karen will not feel the need to speak to me this way. I just have to find a way to make myself a better person for her, so that I deserve her love and respect.

    Until I figure that out, I only know that I will continue to try to give myself to her completely, and with every bit of my being that I can figure out how to give.
    • Thu, 21:03: Stage 1 of cleaning the laundry room = ✅. Hung a longer clothes bar & cleaned up the floor beneath the drying rack. Still much more to do. 🔨

    • Laundry Room

    The new clothes line adds about 3 feet more hanging space, than what the old bar provided; and is much more secure. The old bar was way over stressed, and the lines hanging from the ceiling were stretched, and showing their strain. This line is now about the same size as the bar hanging over the washer and dryer (opposite wall).

    For this bar, I used sturdy para cord, rated at 550 lbs per cord. Each of the four places where the bar is hung from the ceiling has 4 para cord lines distributing the weight along their length, and I wrapped the top and bottom to ensure that the weight distribution remained evenly distributed. This is a case where the bar would fail abd break long before the support lines ever will.

    While this definitely adds some much needed hanging space for the clothes that we hang in the laundry room (Karen and I tend to use the laundry room like a walk in closet), it also presents an opportunity to spread the clothes that were already there out enough to go through them and determine what needs to be kept, and what can be taken down and donated. Some of those shirts haven't been worn in a year or more. Some because I couldn't find them, andothers because I no longer prefer to wear them.

    Additionally, once we have a chance to go through all of the clothes, we can get back into the habit of using this line for shirts, and the line over the washer and dryer for pants, skirts, and my items that require air drying.

    Ursasolus Tweets

    • Wed, 10:19: You looked so BEAUTIFUL, when I peeked out at you this morning, that I dreamt sweet dreams of you as I laid back in bed. Best hour of sleep!

    I have come to loathe the month of June

    I went back to work, for the first time in a week, this morning, and was instantly reminded that the month of June has once again rolled around.

    As they have done for the past several years, my place of employment has raised the flag of Bigotry, Intolerance, and Hate; hanging it on the flagpole directly below the Missouri state flag.
    The LGBT community has designated the month of June as pride month, and companies (like the one I work for) that are caught up in the lie of trying to promote tolerance and diversity are flying the rainbow flag for the entire month.

    Never mind that it is a stolen religious symbol. never mind that the meaning of that flag is offensive to a large portion of their employees. Never mind that the group, that once claimed that flag was a symbol of their attempt to seek tolerance and love, has become the single largest hate group in America. Those calling for tolerance (members and "allies" of the LGBT community) have become the most intolerant segment of our society, to the point of practicing open social and political bigotry and fascism.

    Bigotry: noun, "Intolerance towards those that hold different opinions from oneself."

    Fascist/Facism: noun, "A way of organizing society in a way in which a group of persons (or government) controls the lives and beliefs of a people, and in which others are not allowed to disagree with the beliefs and actions of that group."

    It is truly SAD.

    I live by a policy to treat EVERY human being with love and respect.

    Every person is a creation of God, and every person is a sinner that needs His grace and redemption (myself included). But treating every person with love and respect does not mean that I have to accept their ideology, or their lifestyle. I would never presume to know the ultimate fate of a person's soul, but I know that we are all going to be judged according to our sins and whether or not we atoned for those sins.

    Tolerating a person's differences does not mean that I have to accept those differences as being OK. I cannot look at another person's sin and tell them that it's OK to continue in that sin just because society has decided to say it's normal. True love of a person means that I pray for them, and that I hope they turn from their sin and seek God. their sin is no less, or no worse, than my own; and thus Jesus commands that I show love for my fellow man/woman.

    If I then choose to socially accept, or enable (become an ally) that person in their sin, then I am as guilty of their sin as they are. Showing "love" in this way is in fact an act of apathy (at best), and in knowing the convictions of the scriptures it borders on hate.

    If I truly love that person, I have to remain steadfast in my convictions and belief in scriptures. I must pray for them. I must not accept their sin as "normal" (no more than I would accept my own sexual sins, or any sin, as normal).

    But... Those who have moral convictions contrary to a homosexual lifestyle are branded with the lazy, and inaccurate, term "homophobia." Because if you can attach a false label to those that oppose you, it makes you feel superior to that person. You know, the same tactic used by junior high bullies, when they want to gain support in their attempt to denigrate and pick on the kid that they feel inferior to. And, unfortunately, the majority of people in our society are to ignorant, weak, or morally bereft to stand up to these intolerant tactics.

    All of these things carried out under the shadow of the rainbow flag.


    My tweets

    • Sun, 19:54: I've always wanted to see Metallica in concert. Just wish it would stop raining. 😜☁🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶☔😕


    My tweets

    • Fri, 09:05: Last full day in NYC, with @KJoMullen. Just a few more things to see and do, then it's time to go home tomorrow. I ❤ NY!


    My tweets

    #seeforever #oneworld #freedomtower #mcdonalds #brooklynbridge #manhattanbridge #eastriver

    My tweets

    Dysthymia: High Functioning Depression

    11 Signs That You Might Be Experiencing High-Functioning Depression (Yes, It’s A Real Thing)

    If I were to ask you to picture and describe a depressed person, what would you envision?

    Someone having trouble getting out of bed every day? Someone who’s calling into work sick because they can’t leave the house? Someone who’s isolated from friends and possibly sleeping 10 or 12 hours a day? Someone who can’t stop crying and who’s feeling hopeless?

    Or would you envision a popular, college-educated professional living it up in the big city with a great job, a good group of friends, and a long list of accolades to her name, but who wakes up each morning with a gripping sense of anxiety and an internalized pressure to continue to be “perfect” and “keep it all together?”

    Would you picture a successful millennial startup employee whom you admire for his discipline and drive but who inwardly is devastatingly self-critical and relentlessly demanding on himself and who, after work, copes with his life with a drink or two and several hours of gaming?

    And would you picture that smiling, competent, friendly co-worker of yours who always seems to be getting all the things done but who secretly, inwardly feels like she’s a complete failure and fears time is flying by and she’s wasting it every day?

    Let’s face it: You’re probably not going to picture these folks. And yet each of them could be a perfect example of someone dealing with what’s come to be known as “high-functioning depression.”

    While high-functioning depression doesn’t look like the stereotype of depression most of us hold in our heads, this diagnosis nevertheless carries significant risks if left untreated.

    But the uniquely tricky thing about high-functioning depression is that it’s hard to spot precisely because the people dealing with it look, from the outside, like they’re holding it all together.

    This can lead to a lack of ability to self-identify (or have those around you identify you) as depressed, and moreover, a possible resistance to seeking treatment because of the stigma surrounding more “typical” depression. And this is a big problem.

    So in this post, I want to explain to you what high-functioning depression really is, walk you through 11 signs of high-functioning depression and how this may show up, explain the unique risks associated with high-functioning depression, and share more about how you or your loved ones can get the help you need if you identify with high-functioning depression.

    What is High-Functioning Depression?
    In my opinion as a psychotherapist, high-functioning depression is a pop psychology term for what’s clinically known as dysthymia.

    Dysthymia, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), is a mental health disorder characterized by the following:

    “Depressed mood for most of the day, for more days than not, as indicated by either subjective account or observation by others, for at least two years,” and includes the presence of two or more of the following symptoms, “Poor appetite or overeating; insomnia or hypersomnia; low energy or fatigue; low self-esteem; poor concentration or difficulty making decisions; feelings of hopelessness.”

    And yet, while these symptoms may look diagnostically similar to the symptoms we think of when we envision major depressive disorder (MDD), individuals dealing with dysthymia may not have the same severe levels of impaired biological and mental functioning that can make major depression easier and more obvious to spot.

    In other words, someone struggling with dysthymia may still be able to get up and go to their demanding, prestigious job, be in a romantic relationship, post the believable smiley photos on Instagram, regularly get together with their girlfriends for happy hour, and generally handle all the logistical adulting stuff of their life — passing for someone who doesn’t “look depressed.”

    But inwardly, this same person may be gripped with a challenging set of symptoms invisible to those of us who love and know them.

    Symptoms that may greatly diminish their overall quality of life, their career, their relationships, and bloom into more challenging mental health concerns if left untreated.

    11 Real-Life Ways High-Functioning Depression Can Manifest
    Above, I provided you with what the DSM-5’s clinically indicative dysthymic symptoms. Now let’s talk, in layman’s terms, about 11 ways that some of these symptoms may manifest in your real life.

    1. Difficulty experiencing joy.

    With high-functioning depression, the things that used to bring you pleasure — whether this is a cherished yoga class or a monthly ritual of getting together with your girlfriends — don’t bring you joy anymore. They may feel like burdens or events you want to avoid because it feels like more of an effort than a support

    2. Relentless criticality — of self and others.

    You may have a relentless and invasive internal narrative that’s critical of yourself, of others, and of the world in general. You think you’re a failure, you think your boss is an idiot, your partner is the most irritating person to have ever lived, and life’s just one big slog. This chronically negative thought pattern may feel like something you just can’t turn off.

    3. Constant self-doubt.

    You may constantly doubt whether or not you’re on the right career path, whether you’re in the right relationship, doubt what you’re doing with your life and if you can even handle being an adult. This pattern of constant self-doubt may be situational or pervasive, but it’s something that feels like you just can’t get over.

    4. Diminished energy.

    If it feels like getting through each day is like walking up a mountain with a backpack of rocks, if you feel like you barely have the mental, emotional and physical energy to handle your life anymore, if your overall energy levels are greatly diminished, this could be a sign of high-functioning depression.

    5. Irritability or excessive anger.

    If you find yourself blowing up over small things — your partner says something wrong, your co-worker messed up a project, your kid just broke your favorite coffee mug – if you find yourself exploding in a way that feels disproportionate to the event, if irritability and excessive anger are something you’re wrestling with, this may be a sign.

    6. Small things feel like huge things.

    Similarly, if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or greatly stressed by an event that happens that maybe wouldn’t have felt like such a huge deal in the past (a friend cancels weekend plans, the grocery bags break when you’re carrying them in, your darn trackpad stops working because you spilled some coffee on it) and it feels like the end of the world instead of the annoyance that it is, if you find your stress responses disproportionate to the event itself, this may well be a sign of high-functioning depression.

    7. Feelings of guilt and worry over the past and the future.

    You worry that you chose the wrong career in college, you question whether you’re in the right grad school program, you worry about paying off all those student loans, you worry your biological clock is running out, you worry that you married the wrong partner, you worry about who’s going to care for your folks when they get older, etc. We all have these worries from time to time, but if feelings of guilt and worry over your past and future feel pervasive and dominant, this may be more than “normal” worry.

    8. Relying on your coping strategies more and more.

    If you find yourself needing extensive zone-out time after work and on the weekends, turning toward your coping mechanisms more often than not — such as substances or behaviors like using alcohol, drugs, excessive gaming, constant Netflix, etc. — all in an effort to escape your life, this could speak to underlying depression.

    9. Generalized sadness.

    If you find yourself feeling a generalized sense of sadness you can’t seem to pinpoint the cause of, if you drop your mask and armors of smiling competency when you close your door behind you, if you feel a subtle sense of hopelessness, this could speak to high-functioning depression.

    10. Seeking perfection.

    This one’s a tough one. In a way our society condones perfectionism — getting good grades, getting into the Ivies, landing that amazing tech job, striving, striving, striving. But perfectionism has a shadow side where striving turns into unrealistic demands of yourself and psychologically beating yourself up when you fall short of the bar you set for yourself. If you find yourself doing this and it’s causing you distress, be curious about whether this a sign of high-functioning depression.

    11. Inability to rest and slow down.

    If you need to clean up, tidy, and organize the house after you arrive home from an exhausting day of work before you even consider letting yourself rest, if you find yourself uncomfortable with slowness, stillness, and fallow periods of time because of the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings you come into contact with when you do actually slow down, this could be a sign of high-functioning depression.

    The Unique Risks to Being Someone With High-Functioning Depression
    Mental health struggles come in all shapes and sizes, but as we undo the stigmatization and globalization of mental health scripted over these past few decades, most of us likely still have an unconscious image in our heads of what a depressed person looks like.

    And while this internalized image of someone who can’t get out of bed, who can’t hold down a job, and who has constant suicidal ideations may be one form of depression, it doesn’t mean that someone who sees themselves in the list above or in the clinical descriptor of dysthymia isn’t also dealing with depression.

    But these folks may not be willing to see themselves as depressed. And this can be a big problem, because in my clinical opinion, there’s a unique set of risks to being someone with high-functioning depression.

    First, because you’re still “holding it all together” it may make it harder for both you and others to spot the very real mental and emotional strain you may be under because you pass. You fly under the radar. You and those around you doubt the seriousness of what you may internally wrestle with because, after all, your life still looks pretty great from the outside, right?

    Second, as someone who is high-functioning, you may grow up believing that with enough effort and willpower, you can achieve, gain, or fix anything that life throws at you. Not so with high-functioning depression.

    High-functioning depression isn’t just a bad attitude, and you can’t just “will your way” out of it. High-functioning depression is a biological and psychological disorder that requires adequate and clinically appropriate treatment. Arguably, the more you push and “will yourself out of it” instead of seeking proper support, the worse your symptoms may get.

    For example, if left untreated, high-functioning depression, or dysthymia, can potentially bloom into major depression or major depressive episodes where your biological and psychological functioning is more severely impaired.

    Or perhaps in your attempts to deal with your high-functioning depression on your own, comorbid disorders — such as eating disorders or substance use disorders — can develop from your attempts to manage your intolerable feeling states.

    Bottom line: Dysthymia, or high-functioning depression, requires adequate clinical treatment as much as the most stereotyped version of major depression does. And the good news is that with proper clinical treatment, dysthymia can be managed.

    Treatment and Supports for High-Functioning Depression
    While there is no single reason why someone develops dysthymia or high-functioning depression and while there is not necessarily a way to prevent it, there are several evidence-based effective treatment modalities to help you manage and support yourself if you deal with it: psychotherapy and/or medication.

    In fact, according to a paper from the Canadian Psychological Association, “Psychotherapy is as effective as medication in treating depression and is more effective than medication in preventing relapse. For some patients, the combination of psychotherapy and medication will be more beneficial than either treatment on its own.”

    So if you see yourself in this article today, I strongly encourage you to seek out a therapist and/or speak to your doctor or psychiatrist about what treatment options may be available to you.

    The reality with high-functioning depression and moving through your days is that it can often feel like you’re attempting to build a castle on a foundation of quicksand. Get the help you need to build a solid, stable foundation for yourself — whatever that takes! — so you can build and craft a life in a more sustainable way. You’re so worth it.


    My tweets


    My tweets

    My tweets - Depression

    • Sun, 23:28: (1/2) Depression: ~ Rich Larson 05/20/2017 "Its not what you think." From his article on Chris Cornell's fight with depression and passing… https://t.co/Lz5L6rSPwW
    • Sun, 23:29: (2/2) Depression: ~ Rich Larson 05/20/2017 "Its not what you think." From his article on Chris Cornell's fight with depression and passing… https://t.co/pNidCtG4mR

    Ursasolus Tweets - Happy Birthday, Karen

    • Sun, 08:21: To the queen of my heart ❤: I pray that this, and every day forward, are full of wonder and magic. May your wishes and dreams come true. HBD… https://t.co/76LTu5O6qo

    My tweets - Happy Birthday, Karen!

    • Sat, 22:11: Wrapping up a long, but fun day, of camping with my scouts at Spring camporee 2017. Winding down with songs & skits.

    • Sun, 08:19: Today is my Love's special day. Its her BIRTHDAY! May your day be filled with ❤. And to start things right, I've sl… https://t.co/FTwEPp9NUe

    My tweets

    • Sat, 10:06: I love camping with my scouts. It helps me find personal focus and calm in a crazed mad world. Something about being in the great outdoors.


    My tweets

    • Fri, 02:27: RT @Bopa5X: When someone stumbles in life, whether you help and encourage, ignore them, or finish knocking them down says a lot about you.…


    I want a Summer Haircut - Make me BALD

    One month from today is Father's Day. In case you are wondering what to get me, I'll help make that an easy decision.

    I would like for you to get us a "Deluxe King Bed Suite - (smoking)" at the Ameristar St. Charles Hotel.

    Once we have checked in, and settled into our room, I would like for you to wear some of your sexy outfits and give me a series of shorter and shorter haircuts, crewcuts & buzz cuts, until my hair is short enough that you can lather me up and shave my head bald.

    Right now, weekday room rates are averaging about $149 per night. Next month, the rates will go up for the Summer months, and will range between $169 - $189 for Sunday through Thursdays. (After June 1st, it won't go back to the $139 - $149 prices until October 1st)

    If it is the cost that has been keeping you from fulfilling my requests to have you shave my head, I'll gladly give you the money for the hotel room up front.

    So, what do you say? Wanna give me a Summer Haircut?

    I'm looking forward to feeling the vibration of the clippers on my head, and the tug of the razor as you drag it through the shaving cream lathered on my head. The smell of your smoke as you blow it in my face, or across the still pink and wet skin of my freshly shaved head.

    If there is some other reason why you still don't want to shave my head bald, I would ask that you PLEASE let me know.

    I have been waiting for you to be my barberette for quite a long time now; and I don't understand why you keep putting it off.

    I know you often say that you are ready to quit smoking again, and only continue to do so because of me; but even when I offer every opportunity for you to do this thing for me, and to have me help you quit... you still don't take any action.

    I'm confused, here. Am I really the reason that you keep smoking, or a convenient excuse not to quit?

    Don't get me wrong. Watching you smoke is still a huge turn on, and SUPER sexy. Every time you light up, I become putty in your hands. I'd do anything you ask of me in that moment. When I see that first stream of smoke blow from your lips, I just want to hand you the scissors, and beg you to start cutting...

    I'm not trying to tell you what to do. If you want to smoke (and I know that a part of you likes it just as much as you hate it), that's ultimately your decision.

    But, even I think it's time for you to quit.
    Be my barberette, and it will be even easier for me to help you do that.

    My tweets- Bucket Lists

    • Wed, 01:10: Just watched The Bucket List for the 1st time. Great movie. Of course, I'm crying about the ending; because I'm a tear-jerk movie sucker. 😥😅… https://t.co/SzC6RSRvHd

    Jus 11 short days from now, I'll be taking Karen on a week long vacation to New York. I'm really hoping we have as much fun as I have planned for us.

    On this trip, I will have an opportunity to check off quite a few items off of my own personal bucket list.

  • One World Trade Center (Freedon Tower)

  • 911 Memorial

  • Statue of Liberty

  • Ellis Island

  • Staten Island Ferry

  • Wall Street & The Bull

  • Walk the Brooklyn Bridge

  • Empire State Building

  • Grand Central Station

  • Central Park

  • Central Park Zoo

  • Rockafeller Center & Plaza, NBC

  • Times Square

  • The Ghostbuster's Firehouse, New York Library, & Dana"s apartment (aka Temple of Gozer).

  • Hard Rock Cafe NYC (Where Hard Rock all started in 1971)

  • Citigroup building (I've worked for Citi for almost 22 years, and have seen photos of that building for over two decades. Im finally going to see it in person.)

  • Time permitting, I may even add a few thigs to the above list as side fillers and bonus sites:
  • NBC Studios
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • MET
  • ???
  • Well, I FAILED again.

    My curse has struck yet again.

    The surprise birthday dinner, that was supposed to kick off our New York Adventure, has imploded before it could even get into the starting position.

    I've had the theme for this birthday laid out and ready to go for four (4) years. It's probably not entirely unique, but quite clever. At least everyone I've shown my work and ideas to has thought so.

    But I aparantly didn't plan the final execution phase well enough. Or, maybe not soon enough. I don't know, and at this point I'm not entirely certain I care.

    As per my standard MO, the surprise is no longer a surprise.

    The thought and care of the intention to be spontaneous, thoughtful, and romantic is laying in a soggy pile of ashes where the bright fires of my heart's inspiration, creativity and ideas once burned. And I once again find myself in damage control mode, trying to see what, if anythibg, can be salvaged from the mess I created.

    As for right this moment, Im just numb and "done."

    I'd like to tell myself that this is the LAST time that I try to surprise Karen with a display of my love, affection, respect, and adoration for the woman I love.

    But, wecall know that by the very natute of that last sentence, those are the very reasons why I will try, try, and try again.

    And, of course.... I'll fail, like always.

    It's a viscious circle, and my curse to bear.

    My tweets


    Two weeks from today, Karen and I will be leaving for our trip to New York.

    We have our flights and hotel booked, and we have out itinerary of daily locations and events outlined. The only thing left to do is purchase any advanced ticket items that we may wish to book specific times for on any specific dates.

    Certain items will have specific days and times; but, at the same time, I don't want to so schedule things so rigidly that we have no time to explore or actually enjoy our time there. So no more than one major location will be scheduled for each of the 5 full days that we are there that week. If we have extra time in each day, to fit other locations and sights around our main list locations, then we can decide what and how much of those to do at that time.

    Next Weekend is Karen's actual birthday weekend, but Jack and I will be gone most of the weekend on a Boy Scout Camping trip. Karen and Delaney also have a Girl Scout outing for that Saturday as well. It's Karen's 44th (Farty Farth) birthday.

    Next weekend's activities work out just fine anyhow.

    I've got plans in the works for Karen and I to spend a special evening with the Kids on Friday the 26th; before we head off for an entire week away from them. We will all celebrate Mommy's birthday together; and if we have enough time, we might even catch a later (9 or 10 PM) movie together after dinner.

    That night is going to be really cool. But I'm not going into details here just in case the person that claims they never read my journal might decide to do so within the next two weeks. The date is reserved on our wall calendar, so it's not any super secret surprise that we are doing something that night..... But I've got some neat little things in the works that will make it really neat.

    LOVE YOU, Bubbie Bee!

    then, we will have all day Saturday to spend with the kids, finish any packing that we might still need to do, and rest up before our trip the next afternoon.

    So Excited!!!!!!!!

    My tweets

    • Sat, 06:25: 😖 Ouch! I just want to find a comfortable position, in a soft, cool, spot to lay down; & get some sleep. It hurts s… https://t.co/CRDLuqD4YQ

    My tweets

    Ursasolus Tweets

    • Wed, 14:50: My Sweet Bubbie Bee, I hope your day is going well. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make your d… https://t.co/ROxUXV2e14

    My tweets

    • Tue, 19:48: At Great Skate roller rink with Delaney. It's her last school skate night for Westhoff Elementary.


    My tweets


    My tweets

    • Sat, 16:12: FIXED: Karen has been fighting with a broken turn signal switch for several months. FIXED it myself & saved $150 on… https://t.co/0mPQ7l0YD0
    • Sat, 16:20: There's a really good feeling, & personal satisfaction, that comes from taking time to learn something new & fixing… https://t.co/6jLsCXqM6Y
    • Sat, 20:01: Headed home with some DQ ice cream. Going to take a quick shower, the watch a couple of DVDs snuggled up with my Sweetie. 😌 it's a good day

    Should we make it a two day Vacation

    So, we both just scheduled off from work to go to Delaney's award ceremony, and then have the rest of the afternoon to spend together.

    It's really not the best timing, especially since we leave for NY, NY that very next weekend, but... What are your thoughts on making it a two day vacation, and spending the night at the Ameristar Hotel? Because it is mid-week, we can get the room at half off regular price.

    The 23rd is the last day of school, we could drop the kids off at my mom's before going to check in.

    You shouldn't keep smoking as much as you do. I've seen you go out to the garage as much as three time in the morning just before I wake up, and you are up to a full pack a day (if not more). You promised you would cut back, but if you can't cut back I want to help you quit.

    So, unless you have plans or ideas to do it some other time, I'd like for you to consider cutting all of my long hair off, and shaving my head bald that night.

    In light of recent discussions about getting your hair done at the salon, I would also very much LOVE it if you would PLEASE be my BLONDE barberette.

    We can pack up a bunch of your sexy LRV outfits, a pack of VS120's, all of the clippers & trimmers that I have, some shaving cream and a handful of MACH 3 razors. And just to make things interesting, we can add in a few toys and a couple of 6 packs of Smirnoff ICE Red, White & Berry (and some beer), and get tipsy before we starting cutting my hair.

    Just a thought..... ?

    Ameristar King Smoking Room Cut My Hair Off Here

    My tweets

    • Thu, 13:18: Took my BP while eating lunch, just minutes after finishing a power walk/stairs to burn 542 cal. Even with my HR st… https://t.co/Qq9JBdRZMy
    • Thu, 15:08: KNOW YOUR "BEES" As you may know, my nickname for my wife, Karen, is Bubbie Bee. She's my… https://t.co/PHL7D77Xv6


      As you may know, my nickname for my wife, Karen, is Bubbie Bee.

      She's my Baby Girl (aka Bubbie), and she's sweeter and more precious to my heart than pure honey (the most perfect, nourishing, food in nature). So she's the Bee that nourishes the love in my heart and soul.

      To me, the most important Bee, is my sweet Bubbie Bee.

      Watch out, she can sting too; so treat her with great respect, and tender care. Do that, and you'll know what love is.

      ~ Dwight A. Mullen (aka Putle)


    My tweets

    • Wed, 16:06: My dear GORGEOUS Bubbie: From your beautiful smile, dark blue eyes, and long silky soft hair, to your sexy curves and cute derriere… https://t.co/RRvxhPAXay


    My tweets

    • Tue, 15:51: This one is for my GORGEOUS wife, Karen. She prefers my long hair pulled back into a ponytail, & She's the only one… https://t.co/YuYDYBrMrj

    I actually prefer to wear my hair down.
    I love it when I can feel its length down the back of my neck (and when I don't have a shirt, I love the way it feels on my back and shoulders) and how it feels around my face. I like the way ladies look at me when my hair is down. I like the free feeling of my hair flowing around me.

    As I said, I prefer to wear my hair down (and often do at work); but my Sweetie prefers it up in a ponytail, so that's the way I wear it. In the end, it's all about looking good for the woman I love.

    My tweets

    • Mon, 12:49: Really, #tacobell ? This is the most pathetic taco salad ever. I was in drive-thru. Had I seen this, I would have a… https://t.co/olEtsYjmIb
    • Mon, 16:15: Why is it "A penny for your thoughts," but then you have to "put your two cents in?" Who gets the other penny? https://t.co/5VZjeM8vtx
    • Tue, 09:58: Happy Tuesday! The sun is shining, I'm having an awesome hair day (the ladies have asked me to leave it down 😎), &… https://t.co/gBObdZSO2i

    • My hair is my BEST physical feature, and pretty much the only thing I like about myself in terms of how I look. Even on a bad hair day, it doesn't have wrinkles, it's not fat, it's not sore or tired looking; and worst case scenario, I can always pull it back into a ponytail. Even greasy, I can usually pull off the slicked back look.

      It also doesn't hurt that my long hair is the one thing about me that gets attention from members of the opposite sex. And... Unfortunately, sometimes even from members of my own sex. Men and women often tell me how jealous they are of my hair, or wish they could have hair like mine, get theirs to look like mine does, etc...

      There are ladies that flirt with me because my hair makes me look like the "bad boy" they think they want, but they know that I'm really the nice guy underneath. I don;t even mind that most of those ladies are in the 40 to 60 year old range. (If I weren't the faithful/monogamous type, my hair would get me serious sex on a regular basis)
      I know that my days of getting serious flirts from the younger ladies are long gone. But in those rare and few moments when they do... it's because they see me as the rebellious older guy with the long hair. Thankfully, my mind immediately reminds me that I'm old enough to be their father, and I take it for the fleeting compliment that it is.

      As I said. My hair is my best physical feature. It is also often the source of my self confidence. It is the physical feature that makes others remember my face (instead of me just always being a forgotten face in the crowd). When I go places, people remember my face, and know me by name; not because I am all that memorable of a person, but because they remember the guy with the great hair (long hair/ponytail).

    Ursasolus Tweets - Flashback (2006)

    • Mon, 16:59: Glanced up at a photo on my cube's wall, & realized that I'm wearing those same glasses right now. BTW who is that… https://t.co/FXCe1bWmuH

    • I wonder what your hair would look like cut in that hairstyle, or a very similar spiky cropped hairstyle, as a sexy BLONDE? Guess we'll never know. Or, maybe.... What do you think? Maybe someday, huh?

      As for right now. Your long hair drives me insanely wild. But I have to admit I'd literally do ANYTHING to see your hair blonde again. (But a darker blonde this time) I know this is the time of year that you get an itch to switch things up. I'd love to have you be my blonde barberette when you give me a haircut.

      Speaking of which... Any plans to give me a haircut anytime soon?
      Summer is coming up. I wouldn't mind at all if you'd like to give me a nice, short, buzz cut. Or better yet, how about a smooth, shaved head?

      I hope my new glasses come in soon. I never realized just how goofy/nerdy these (as in the ones on my face, and in that photo) looked on me. Especially with my shaved head. I'm not looking so bad right now; but when this longhair comes off, I'm going to need something better than those on my face.

      BTW... I know I can't tell what color it was from a B&W photocopy of a photo, but LOVE that sexy lipstick on you. Your lips look so amazing with color on them. Just want to kiss them forever and eat you up.

    I know I come across as joking a lot of the time, or maybe you're not sure if I'm serious.

    I really would like for you to shave my head, and plan to quit smoking soon. Just throwing that out there...

    Ursasolus Tweets

    • Mon, 00:04: Bubbie, You ROCKED my World to the core. My face is still flushed, and I'm still twitching from head to toe. You are so amazing! ❤😍❤https://t.co/0KkjgsGdUa

    My tweets

    Ursasolus Tweets

    • Thu, 12:45: My heart, mind, & everything I am, From the moment I wake, till I lay down my head, & even in my dreams, is so comp… https://t.co/0gVn61Hhy4

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